500-Year-Old Shipwreck Discovered In Namibian Desert And Reveals Unspeakable Riches… – Viral Thread

When an old Portuguese shipwreck was found off the coast of the Namibian desert, archaeologists couldn’t believe their eyes. There were so many questions about to how the ship got there in the first place and what it had been carrying. But it wasn’t difficult to identify how old the ship was – it had been there for 500 years. That’s half a millennia! The ship was called the Bom Jesus, and when a group of miners stumbled across some of its remnants, they were shocked to discover what was aboard the sunken ship!

Back in the 1500s, the world was a very different place. Whilst we still use ships to transport goods, journeys in the twenty-first century are no where near as perilous as they used to be. This ship’s crew would have been risking life and limb to ensure it reached its destination safely, sailing on a wooden vessel through harsh and unforgiving waters. The moment a ship got into trouble back then, its crew would have been dead men walking as safety technology was so primitive. Regardless of the treasure on-board…

1. Shipwrecked On The Namibian Coast

Archaeologists confirmed that the Bon Jesus began its journey in 1533, setting sail from Portugal on a long journey to India. It wasn’t clear at first how the Bon Jesus sank. Perhaps it ran into trouble with pirates who wanted to pillage its cargo, or its crew staged a mutiny against its captain that went wrong. Or it could have simply been a case of bad weather. Whatever the reason for its sinking, the Bon Jesus had been buried by time several feet below sea level, it had never been found. Until now…

NEXT: The curse of “Skeleton Coast”…

The other name for the Oranjemund Coast is “The Skeleton Coast”. For centuries, hundreds of ships carrying treasures have washed up on these shores. In fact, it’s also been referred to as “The Gates of Hell”. The Bom Jesus was simply the latest skeleton to wash up on its shores. But would its bones yield any treasure as so many wrecks before it had done…

2. Welcome To “Skeleton Coast”

The Oranjemund Coast is where the treacherous seas of the Atlantic Ocean meet the unbearable harsh deserts of Namibia. “The Skeleton Coast” is so called because of the hundreds of shipwrecks and human lives that have been claimed there. The bones of once living creatures and carcasses of shipwrecks litter the sand dunes as a painful reminder of the what this place can do…

NEXT: So how did the story begin 500 years ago?

It was a dark, stormy night when Bom Jesus was crossing Namibian waters way back in the sixteenth centurty. Nobody knew the fate of the ship, until the wooden never reached its destination. There’s no doubt that its crew must have been terrified during the storm. As the waters thrashed against the sides of the ship grew more violent, their chances of survival decreased…

3. The Story Of The Bom Jesus

The storm was raging, and, despite the fact that the Bom Jesus was mostly likely expensive treasures on-board, nothing could be saved – not even the crew – in the ships small rowing boats. The Bom Jesus eventually crashed upon the rocks of the lagoon on the Oranjemund coast. It seemed that all of its secrets would be buried and lost forever. But now its story incredible was about to unfold…

NEXT: The first pieces of evidence pointing to the shipwreck are discovered!

When a group miners walking back from the Namdeb diamond mine found these wooden structures on the ground, they were sure that something was up. They’d been searching for diamonds and had their eyes peeled for treasure. Either there had been an accident in the area recently, or something very old had just been uncovered. Whatever it was, they wanted to know more…

4. The Shipwrecked Evidence

This was the only evidence of the shipwreck, found 500 years after the Bom Jesus had sunk. It was time to dig up Davy Jones’ locker, and find out whether any vessel had ever crossed these waters. The miners reported their discovery to local archeologists who began to research the find. Was there a ship? When the locals asked around, stories of a sunken vessel soon began to emerge…

NEXT: One archaeologist had been waiting for this very day to arise…

As it turned out, a man called Dr. Dieter Noli from the Southern Africa Institute of Maritime Archaeological Research had already approached the miners talking about the possibility of a shipwreck. He’d told them to keep their eyes peeled as they worked in the area in case a discovery like this was unearthed. It wouldn’t just be valuable, but incredibly significant historically…

5. The Possibility Of A Shipwreck

“I had been preaching to them [the miners] for a dozen years, that ‘one day’ they would find a shipwreck,” Dr. Dieter Noli said, “and to let me know when they do.” He was very aware that a ship which had departed from Lisbon, Portugal, back in 1533 never returned had passed the area. So when Dr. Dieter Noli got the call excavations of the site began…

NEXT: He knew there was something very big hidden on-board the ship…

Dr. Dieter Noli managed to get a group of locals together in hope that he would find the shipwreck and anything that was on-board. That’s when rumours of the ship going down with “treasure” on-board started to grow amongst locals in the area, especially the miners who’d been on the hunt for diamonds, and everybody wanted a piece of the reward…

6. The Archaeological Excavation

Uncovering a shipwreck is a complex process. The Bon Jesus was buried beneath tonnes of mud, and if the locals and archeologists were to stand any chance of uncovering treasure, they’d have dig it out before their excavation could behind. Thankfully, someone had the bright idea of using large tubes of water to wash out the mud. Diggers and other large pieces of equipment were also used to excavate the area…

NEXT: The first piece of treasure the Bon Jesus yielded…

There’s no doubt that those involved in the dig would have been nervous. What if their efforts had been in vain? But it wasn’t long until a large piece of metal was lifted from under the desert’s ground. They soon realised that there was a metal coin or seal attached to it…

7. The First Discovery

Amazingly, they’d uncovered a sixteenth century coin. That meant that there wasn’t just likely to be treasure, but that they’d found the shipwreck that Dr. Dieter Noli had waited so long to discover – the Bom Jesus! The name of Bom Jesus actually translates directly into “The Good Jesus”. It was time to keep digging to find some more interesting pieces of history from the Good Jesus…

NEXT: Suddenly something metal was pull from the sand. Was this the “treasure”?!

The coin was a nice find, but something that excited the archaeologists even more were the objects that had once been on-board the vessel, which presented themselves in the form of various pieces of metal. They’d been surprisingly well preserved, and, because of this, were extremely important historical discoveries that hinted of greater treasures…

8. Historical Objects Unearthed

Objects such as plates, pans, bowls and even the wheel from one of the ship’s doors were dug out from under the sands. “This is a very significant find, particularly the supporting items like the religious artifacts and clothing,” Dr. Dieter Noli said, “which can give us fascinating insights into what was a very important period of history”. But where was the treasure?!

NEXT: The shiny discovery that made everyone’s eyes bulge…

As the locals ploughed through the wreck, it wasn’t long before something shiny caught their eye. It was a solid gold coin, dating back to the sixteenth century as well. It was a piece of Portuguese gold that had been lost in the sand for 500 years. If it was one of many, they’d just stumbled across a treasure haul that would make any self respecting pirate jealous…

9. The Gold Coin That Changed Everything

Suddenly, the excavation became a lot more exciting with the discovery of gold. The gold coin proved that there was definitely some objects of huge value worth looking for in the wreck of the Bon Jesus. Dr. Dieter Noli recalls, “A lot of stuff survived the 500 years on the bottom of the sea which should really not have done so.” But this was just one single coin, or was there more?!

NEXT: Did any other discoveries make their eyes glisten?!

The discovery made by the team wasn’t just valuable, but grim. One of the sailors who’d gone down with the ship had obviously tried to save some of the treasure before sinking to his watery grave. In the process, he’d buried himself with gold…

10. More Where That Came From?

The riches on-board the Bom Jesus stretched further than just the gold coin. A number of objects revealing the lives of sailors were found, on their skeletons, religious artifacts and clothing. Dr. Dieter Noli stated, “Portuguese sailors were on the cusp of opening up the known world around 1533, but historical sources have been limited in describing everyday life. The mix of discoveries is particularly impressive – and the bones can give archaeologists an idea of the sailors’ typical diet, for example.”

NEXT: This one piece they found really does bring home the story of the Bom Jesus…

Other copper pieces were discovered, alongside a navigational device in the wreckage. Recognise that piece of metal? Well, if you’re unsure what it is, try to think of captain’s cabins that you’ve seen in movies like Pirates of the Caribbean. What do they contain apart from a lot of rum? It’s a piece of history that would have told those on-board the Bon Jesus that their fate was sealed…

11. Pieces Of History

The large hairclip-looking object is the navigational pin that the captain would use on his map to navigate where the ship was headed. Isn’t that such an incredible discovery? It brings about a sense of how the ship would have been back in the sixteenth century before the fatal disaster. Historic documents reveal that the ship itself had carried a full crew from Portugal, all of whom had gone down with the ship. It was time to keep digging. If the crew wanted to protect their treasure, they’d have kept it well hidden…

NEXT: The crew continue to dig, and find a now-illegal object…

As the team delved further and further into the wreck, they soon stumbled across some of its cargo. Whilst it wasn’t gold, it would have been equally valuable in the sixteenth century. It not only revealed how society worked in the sixteenth century, but what was considered luxurious back then. Like the skeleton, it’s remarkable that they’d survived for so long underwater…

12. Elephant Tusks

Whilst digging up the remains of the shipwreck, the crew found huge numbers of what looked like bone. In fact, the archaeologist and his team had discovered an entire batch of African elephant tusks, some of which reached up to an impressive six feet in length. Ivory was considered “white gold” in the sixteenth century, showing that the Afro-Portuguese trading was at its highest back then. These tusks would have been carved into ornaments of all fashions for rich and wealthy buyers…

NEXT: But the captain’s log proved there was more than just ivory on-board…

This one man held up an elephant tusk just to show the enormity of it. The tusk, if put vertically, is nearly as tall as the man himself. It’s amazing to think it belonged to an animal that had died 500 years ago…

13. Was This The “Treasure”?

Ivory had a huge commercial value, and, as Portugal became increasingly rich, their want for exotica also increased. But what about that gold coin?! There had to be more! Especially if the Bon Jesus was going to India to trade in desirous goods…

NEXT: Perhaps this historical object signified more than its original value…

After cleaning up the ship’s door handle, Dr. Dieter Noli inspected it further. What was incredible was that it had barely bent from out of its original shape! It just goes to show how well made it had been…

14. The Wheel Of Fortune?

The wheel had somehow lasted 500 years, but it was still worth in the low thousands. Five days had gone by, and, despite the huge number of historically significant discoveries, it seemed that the elusive “treasure” had been lost forever. But suddenly, what all the public went crazy for was revealed on the sixth day. So what did they find that was so impressive? Dr. Dieter Noli recalls, “I knew that we had a ship from the early 16th century and that there would be a lot to find in very good nick. As luck would have it, we found the treasure chest on day six.”

NEXT: Prepare yourselves for this next discovery, because it is pretty incredible…

This was the moment the locals had been waiting for. Six days after starting the excavation, they uncovered metal pipes which appeared to be old cannons that would have been attached to the ship’s side…

15. The Mysterious Pipes

The pipes were made of thick metal that was enormously heavy. But somehow, they had stayed in very good condition. Then, one of the women looked inside one of the metal pipes once they had been pulled out of the ground… What she saw changed everyone’s mood pretty drastically.

NEXT: Suddenly, a glimmer caught the eye of this worker…

Down the middle of the pipe were a bunch of coins. Hundreds of coins, in fact! All of them solid gold. The team had FINALLY discovered the hoards of treasure that had been hidden aboard the Bom Jesus!

16. What’s In The Cannon?

In the ground, gold coins were stashed everywhere, covered with thick mud. But underneath their brown exterior, a shiny gold came through. And it wasn’t just a bag of gold! Around 45 minutes later, the team dug up an entire treasure chest. They had hit the jackpot of all shipwreck discoveries!

NEXT: It was time to open up the treasure chest and reveal what was inside…

When they pulled open the treasure chest, it revealed an incredible amount of gold Spanish and Portugese coins. In fact, there were more than 2000 coins! They had to be worth a lot of money…

17. Stunning Hoards Of Gold!

The whopping total of the coins made an entire $9 million! This is one of the biggest shipwreck discoveries that has gone down in history. In total, there were 5438 artefacts found on-board the ship too. These objects included pewter tableware, copper cooking utensils, silver coins, bronze cannons, tonnes of copper ingots, swords and even muskets.

NEXT: Can you imagine finding $9 million worth of gold?

Holding a stash of gold coins in his hand, this local man who had been helping out with the excavation was very pleased with the discovery. The gold coins shone like miniature suns in his hand!

18. The Treasures Of The Bom Jesus

But who would keep all the money? There was $9 million worth of gold coins there. The Bom Jesus itself was a Portuguese ship, so the ship of state would still belong to Portugal. But the wreckage was found on Namibian soil. As it transpired, Portugal were very generous in this incident. “The Portuguese government very generously waived that right,” Dr. Noli said, “allowing Namibia to keep the lot.”

NEXT: Take a look up close at one of the gold coins and its intricate details…

If you were wondering what the gold coins looked like in detail, the team managed to get a very good snap of what the coin looked like on both sides.

19. A Close Up Of The Gold

The gold would have been melted and stamped on to show that the gold was Spanish or Portuguese. On the right hand side of the coin, you can recognise the Portuguese crest as well as the stripes in a shield. The coins are dated between 1525 and 1538, and all of them have been classified as being in perfect condition. What an incredible find!

NEXT: Time to see a historian’s idea of how the ship would have looked…

Here is a replica of the ship, and what historians imagine the Bom Jesus would have looked like in all its glory. In the 16th Century, these vessels would have been made out of wooden structures.

20. A Miniature Replica Of The Ship

The Bom Jesus was a proper sailing ship that was made to venture and travel around the world. Dr. Dieter Noli believes that there are two main possibilities why the Bom Jesus could have sunk. One would be the stormy weathers and sailing too close to the edge of the Namibian coast. The second reason could easily have been from excess weight due to the heavy cargo on-board.

NEXT: Lastly, the story of the Bom Jesus is immortalised in words…

Finally, the story of the ship has been written into a novel, and this is the book’s cover. This book is written in German, and the title Die Versunkenen Schätze Der Bom Jesus translates to The Sunken Treasures of the Bom Jesus.

21. A German Novel Of The Ship’s Story

There’s also news that archaeologists and historians alike are keen to build a museum displaying the findings and incredible discoveries aboard the Bom Jesus. Imagine finding $9 million worth of gold coins in a treasure chest from a shipwreck in the desert! The area of the discovery has still been kept a secret whilst archaeologists can keep excavating the area for more artifacts.

NEXT: US Soldiers Uncover Mysterious Hole In Iraqi Desert Leading To A 2,600-Year-Old Treasure ISIS Wanted Hidden…

When we think of war, we think of destruction – of homes lying in ruins and families that have been torn apart. It’s an unfortunate part of the human experience that’s existed since the dawn of time. As much as we’d all like to live in a peaceful world, ideological differences mean that there’s always trouble on at least one corner of the globe…

The US is famed for our military. It’s a force to be reckoned with, and the biggest conflict our brave troops are currently facing is against the Islamic extremest group IS. President Obama sent in more of our troops to support the Iraqi government’s fight against them in 2014. That’s when a jaw-dropping discovery thousands of years in the making was made…

1. Secret Entrance In The Middle Of The Desert

The Iraqi desert’s a formidable place; miles upon miles of sand and dirt lie sizzling in unbearable temperatures. But nothing stands in the way of our brave troops, and nothing gets past their eagle eyes. When a US convey was travelling through the desert, a member of the military spotted a suspicious piece of metal upturned in the sand…

NEXT: The SHOCKING find made under this suspicious piece of metal…

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